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Medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell have successfully secured a five-figure sum for a woman who underwent inappropriate breast cancer surgery.
Having undergone a double mastectomy in 2012, our client, 'S' had an operation to reconstruct her breast. However, this operation left her with a wound on her left breast that would not heal.
With the help of Sarah Coles, a solicitor in the Medical Law and Patient Rights team at Irwin Mitchell, she pursued a claim against Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.
Wrong Surgery Carried Out
During the course of the claim, we identified that the wrong type of nipple reconstruction surgery was carried out. We also argued that medical staff should have recognised that S’s skin would be weaker in this place due to undergoing previous radiotherapy on the affected area and responded accordingly.
The radiotherapy had severely weakened and damaged S’s skin and blood supply to the area, so the normal reconstruction method was inappropriate. She actually required a dorsal flap operation to bring skin over from her back to reconstruct her breast.
Further Reconstruction Required
Because of the incorrect procedure being performed, S required a further removal of her nipple, further reconstruction surgery and was left with an open wound for three months. As a result, she may need to undergo more surgery in the future. The additional treatment prevented S from being able to drive, limited her childcare abilities and delayed her wedding for several months.
How We Helped
We secured a five-figure award for S on account of her pain, suffering and financial losses.
Clinical negligence specialist Sarah Coles commented: "Had the negligence not occurred, she would have healed within a few months and moved forward with her life. Instead, it was left lingering for two years with pain and suffering impacting on her daily life and relationships.
"I think the bravery it takes for a woman to decide to undergo a double mastectomy in these circumstances is unbelievable and I was just so saddened that the negligence occurred."
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